Video. By Venla Elina Helenius. Mänttä Art Festival. 2023

  • Photo by Venla Helenius

Fantomi is a single-channel short film that reflects the relationship with time through three characters. One of the characters collects objects that are somehow temporally incomprehensible, such as fossils, while another character tries to grasp the essence of the wind, which, too, is in its own way beyond one’s grasp. Each character fumbles through the work, seeking something that transcends human time and physicality. The title of the work refers to the motivation behind the characters’ actions: something past and something future feels like a phantom sensation within their bodies. Fantomi is a dimly shot, poem-like short film that embraces small events, like the movement of the wind or rising mist. The work is captured in the twilight: when everything cannot be ssen, other senses are emphasised – sounds, smells and touch.

Fantomi – Excerpt 1
Fantomi – Excerpt 2
Fantomi – Excerpt 3


4K video, 18:42 min
Concept, script, directing: Venla Helenius
Sound design, sound recording and music: Johannes Birlinger
Performers: Johanna Karlberg, Minna Partanen
Filming & editing: Venla Helenius
Voice-over: Ritva Loijas
Voice-over recording: Juho Hoikka
Costumes: Venla Helenius
Eng. translation: Eve Lahikainen
Production: Mänttä Art Festival
The work was supported by the Arts Promotion Centre
Finland, Kone Foundation and Mustarinda ry.


Video. By Venla Elina Helenius. Ars Libera, Kuopio // Pori Biennal, Helsinki. 2022

  • Photo by Venla Helenius

The only thing I have is my desire to escape to other worlds. 

And to pause for moments when laughter and crying have not yet been unleashed, 

and being feels in the back of your throat and in the pit of your stomach. 

Yes… I only have this desire of mine. Can you hear me?”

Four characters construct a layered fiction for the camera. They are looking for thrill, catharsis, emancipation. Sentimentum depicts layered desires produced by imagination. The characters of the piece possess the ability to imagine fantastical worlds where unruly energy flows between tense bodies and through them. The piece portrays the need of the characters to experience in their bodies such bliss that can only be experienced in escapist fantasies. And it acknowledges their fascination with sentimentalism, and their deep longing for melodramatic finales.

Sentimentum is being shown as a one-channel video installation.

“mitä mä teen tällä”
“cars at the beach”


concept, script, directing, filming, editing, costumes: Venla Helenius

performers: Teo Ala-Ruona, Anna Kuusamo, Minna Partanen

sound recordings, sound editing, music: Johannes Birlinger

english translation: Eve Lahikainen


Documentary. Directed by Wolfgang Reinke. 2014.

Super low-res version of the Prologue of 2013 documentary “mirna” by Wolfgang reinke. I used different end-loops vinyl records to create the background. Accordion for the single notes.

Mirna Titel
Mirna Teaser


Short Film. Directed by Hendrik Faller. 2013.

Fantasy and nightmare are pushed to the extremes as the last moments of a first date take a dark turn. This short film was screened as part of the official selection of the 9th International Short Film Festival Detmold, Germany 2013.

Threshold – Crossing Boundaries
Threshold – Going Wild